Receptionists and information clerks
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Overview
Receptionists perform administrative tasks, such as answering phones, receiving visitors, and providing general information about their organization to the public and customers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for receptionists and information clerks are expected to grow by 9%, and should have about 151,300 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Receptionists and information clerks are more likely to be automated than 89% of other careers.
Workforce size
Receptionists and information clerks, with 1,053,700 workers, form a larger workforce than 96% of careers.
Education
Only 15% of receptionists and information clerks have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by receptionists and information clerks
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
Fewer receptionists and information clerks have bachelor's degrees than 60% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for 88% of all other jobs is higher than the middle salary for receptionists and information clerks. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most receptionists and information clerks.
This job's median $29KAll jobs' median $39K$29K$38K20142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 90% of receptionists and information clerks -- that's a larger percentage than 98% of other jobs.
Gender of receptionists and information clerks
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For receptionists and information clerks, the median men's salary was 4% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 22% of receptionists and information clerks are minority, and 10% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of receptionists and information clerks
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (10%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Receptionists and Information Clerks per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 44% of receptionists and information clerks, and 53% have company-sponsored health insurance (21% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for receptionists and information clerks
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of receptionists and information clerks who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (77%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (63%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (40%)
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (31%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do receptionists and information clerks earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for receptionists and information clerks, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for receptionists and information clerks compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for receptionists and information clerks (BLS Salary Data)
$29K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$29K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all receptionists and information clerks, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for receptionists and information clerks compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for receptionists and information clerks (ACS Salary Data)
$27K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$27K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where receptionists and information clerks work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Receptionists and information clerks (ACS)
Private for-profit (80.7%)
Private not-for-profit (10.5%)
Local government (3.6%)
State government (2.9%)
Federal government (1.4%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.4%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.5%)
Working without pay (0.1%)
Distribution: Salaries of receptionists and information clerks by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$27K$26K$30K$30K$30K$36K$25K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000Self-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of receptionists and information clerks by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$29K$45K$28K$29K$32K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for receptionists and information clerks

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$20K$30K$31K$26K$31K$27K$31K$30K$31K$0$20K$40K$60KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
050K100K150KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Receptionists and information clerks and gender

With 90% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 98% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
90%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Receptionists and information clerks
Men (10%)
Women (90%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is better for receptionists and information clerks, with the median salary for men only 4.3% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$27K$28K$0$20K$40K$60KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Receptionists and information clerks have one of the smaller percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job lower than that for 87% of other jobs.

4%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of receptionists and information clerks

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a higher percentage of minority receptionists and information clerks than for 59% of other careers. While this career employs many minorities, it employs a relatively small number of foreign-born people.

Race/origin of receptionists and information clerks
White (72% )
Black (14% )
Other (6% )
Asian (3% )
Multiracial (3% )
Hispanic (1% )
American Indian (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
22%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
10%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for receptionists and information clerks by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$25K$26K$26K$26K$26K$27K$27K$29K$0$20K$40K$60KPacific IslanderOtherMultiracialAmerican IndianHispanicWhiteBlackAsian
Distribution: Salaries for receptionists and information clerks by nativity
$27K$27K$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by receptionists and information clerks

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), receptionists and information clerks typically hold a high school diploma or equivalent.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as receptionists and information clerks as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for receptionists and information clerks.

Education attained by receptionists and information clerks
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for receptionists and information clerks

Receptionists typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, and employers may prefer to hire candidates who have experience with certain computer software applications. Courses in word processing and spreadsheet applications can be particularly helpful.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for receptionists and information clerks? Below we see the distribution of receptionists and information clerks salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as receptionists and information clerks, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$24K$27K$26K$28K$29K$33K$34K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KNone (4%)High School (33%)Some College (36%)Associate's Degree (12%)Bachelor's Degree (13%)Master's Degree (2%)Professional Deg/Doct (0%)
Certificate/degree pathways

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click the program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Program
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Less than bachelor's
bachelor's degree
Higher than bachelor's
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Receptionist
193
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for receptionists and information clerks

What jobs will most receptionists and information clerks hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of receptionists and information clerks reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Receptionists and information clerksSecretaries and administrative assistantsCustomer service representativesGeneral office clerksFirst-line supervisors of office and administrative support workersInterviewersManagers (specialized areas)Cashiers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for receptionists and information clerks

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as receptionists and information clerks as well as 1% of respondents after working as receptionists and information clerks. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for receptionists and information clerks
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Cashiers
659,300
$0$200K$20K
Secretaries and administrative assistants
395,200
$0$200K$36K
Customer service representatives
373,800
$0$200K$32K
General office clerks
356,600
$0$200K$33K
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
153,100
$0$200K$48K
Interviewers
24,300
$0$200K$32K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for receptionists and information clerks: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as receptionists and information clerks? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of receptionists and information clerks surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for receptionists and information clerks
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
1.2%
Cashiers
659,300
$0$200K$20K
1.3%
Secretaries and administrative assistants
395,200
$0$200K$36K
6.7%
Customer service representatives
373,800
$0$200K$32K
3.7%
General office clerks
356,600
$0$200K$33K
4.3%
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
153,100
$0$200K$48K
1.1%
Receptionists and information clerks
151,300
$0$200K$27K
33.8%
Medical assistants
95,000
$0$200K$30K
1.3%
Office and administrative support workers
30,900
$0$200K$40K
1.2%
Interviewers
24,300
$0$200K$32K
1.3%
No occupation
14.1%
Read about receptionists and information clerks
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Receptionists typically do the following:

  • Answer telephone calls and take messages or forward calls
  • Schedule and confirm appointments and maintain calendars
  • Greet and welcome customers, clients, and other visitors
  • Check visitors in and direct or escort them to specific destinations
  • Inform other employees of visitors’ arrivals or cancellations
  • Enter customer data and send correspondence
  • Copy, file, and maintain paper or electronic documents
  • Handle incoming and outgoing mail and email

Receptionists are often the first employee of an organization to have contact with a customer or client. They are responsible for making a good first impression for the organization—an impression that can affect the organization’s success.

The specific responsibilities of receptionists vary with where they work. Receptionists in hospitals and doctors’ offices may collect patients’ personal information and direct patients to the waiting room. Some may handle billing and insurance payments.

In large corporations and government offices, receptionists may provide a security function. For example, they control access to the organization, provide visitor passes, and arrange to take visitors to the proper office.

Receptionists use telephones, computers, and other office equipment, such as scanners and fax machines.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of receptionists and information clerks? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Communication skills
Receptionists must speak and write clearly so that others may understand them.
Customer-service skills
Receptionists represent an organization, so they should be courteous, professional, and helpful toward customers and the public.
Integrity
Receptionists may handle client and patient data, especially in medical and legal offices. They must be trustworthy and protect their clients’ privacy.
Interpersonal skills
Receptionists should be comfortable interacting with people, even in stressful situations.
Organizational skills
Receptionists take messages, schedule appointments, and maintain employee files. They need good organizational skills to manage their diverse responsibilities.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for receptionists and information clerks
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) for 88% of all other jobs were higher than the median (middle) salary for receptionists and information clerks. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $29KAll jobs' median $39K$29K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$10K$20K$30K$40K$50K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for receptionists and information clerks are anticipated to grow by 9% over the next decade, which is faster growth than is predicted for 57% of other jobs.

The projected employment for receptionists and information clerks is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

20002010202020300500,0001,000,0001,500,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most receptionists and information clerks? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as receptionists and information clerks. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Receptionists and Information Clerks per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.05.010.015.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where receptionists and information clerks earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for receptionists and information clerks compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for receptionists and information clerks.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Receptionists and Information Clerks to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which receptionists and information clerks earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.20.40.60.81.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Receptionists and information clerks (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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